How knowledge is structured and used by expert and novice children

Camilla Gobbo, Michelene Chi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


This research contrasts the knowledge structures of expert and novice children in the domain of dinosaurs, as well as how this knowledge is used. Several measures were developed to assess differences in knowledge structures, such as how frequently children use connecting words in their production protocols and the frequency with which they switch topics in their discussion of a dinosaur. How children use their knowledge was assessed by measures such as the frequency with which they infer new implicit information about unknown dinosaurs and the frequency with which they make semantic comparisons, especially about unknown dinosaurs. These differences in the structure and use of knowledge provide a possible explanation of why expert children can better use and access their knowledge because it is more cohesive and integrated, than can novice children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-237
Number of pages17
JournalCognitive Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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